Turning organic waste into precious compost
The average Heidelberg resident generates 100 kilograms of biowaste and green waste every year. This waste goes to the city’s composting center, where it is transformed into valuable compost. If this compost is to be of a sufficiently high quality, residents must take care to separate their biowaste from other waste at home. This is not only good for the environment, but also helps households save money.
Collecting biowaste is nothing new for Heidelberg
Heidelberg has been separating its kitchen and garden waste from other types of waste since as long ago as 1987. Today, biowaste from the cities of Heidelberg and Mannheim and from the Rhine-Neckar and Bergstraße regions is processed at Heidelberg’s Wieblingen composting center, which can handle up to 35,000 tonnes of biowaste a year.
Heidelberg households can choose from 120-liter or 240-liter bins for storing their biowaste and green waste. These can be emptied on a weekly or two-weekly basis, as preferred. In the summer months, all biowaste bins are emptied weekly.
Green waste that does not fit in the bin can be put out in bags available for purchase from the city’s administrative offices (Bürgerämter). Alternatively it can be taken to any of Heidelberg’s recycling yards.
5 benefits of the biowaste bin:
- Kitchen and green waste are too precious to go in the residual waste bin
Biowaste can be turned into high-quality compost at Wieblingen composting center. In this way – provided that it is collected properly – it can be fed back into nature.
- The biowaste bin cuts residual waste by up to 40%, which saves households money
The biowaste bin not only helps the environment, but can save households considerable amounts of money, too.
- Biowaste becomes compost
Compost is sometimes called ‘black gold’ – and with good reason. It improves the soil structure and helps make plants grow better. Its effects are long-lasting, and it is a completely natural product.
- Compost is better than chemical fertilizers
Where compost is used, no additional fertilizers are needed. Compost improves the humus content of the soil and increases moisture retention. Using compost instead of artificial fertilizer helps to save money, too.
- Compost saves peat bogs
Peatlands are not only important carbon reserves, but they also provide habitats for many rare animal and plant species. To prevent these habitats from being irreparably destroyed, the use of peat should be avoided where possible. Compost is a good substitute for peat in virtually all gardening situations.
Raw compost becomes ‘Kurpfälzer Erden’ compost
About 80% of the raw compost produced from biowaste in Wieblingen goes to the vineyards of the southern Palatinate and southern Hesse regions, to improve the quality of the soil there. The remaining 20% is reserved for purchase by the local population, following conversion to high-quality, cost-effective potting composts, seed composts, multi-purpose composts, and decorative mulches.